DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/13 October) – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV lied when he claimed that he had no previous knowledge of the allegations hurled against President Rodrigo R. Duterte, the president’s daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said.
Trillanes said in a statement Thursday that he sought support from then city mayor and now President Duterte to bolster his bid for the vice presidency in the 2016 elections only before he learned that he was a “thief and a killer”.
In a Facebook post on Friday morning, the mayor recounted the “same old” issues, which include the “Davao Death Squad (DDS)” and human rights violations in the city that were hurled against her father and repeated in the previous elections since 1995 until he won the presidency in 2016.
The elder Duterte was mayor from 1988 to 1998, representative of the first district from 1998 to 2001 and mayor again from 2001 to 2010 . He served as vice mayor to his daughter-mayor from 2010 to 2013, and was elected mayor in 2013 or the seventh time with son Paolo as vice mayor.
“Naconfine ka ba ng matagal sa mental? Alam na ng buong mundo ang isyu pero ikaw hindi mo pa rin alam? (Were you confined for a long time in a mental hospital? The entire world already knows about these issues and yet you still do not know?) You are lying,” she said.
Mayor Duterte dared Trillanes to prove that there was truth to his allegation that their family has P2 billion in their bank accounts, calling the opposition senator “Pinocchio,” alluding to the literary character whose nose grows long each time he tells a lie.
She hit Trillanes for calling them “pamilya ng mamatay tao at magnanakaw” (a family of killers and thieves) while hiding behind parliamentary immunity.
Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law Mans Carpio, the mayor’s husband, were recently implicated by Trillanes in a smuggling controversy at the Port of Davao, claiming the two have links to the so-called Davao Group.
The mayor warned that she, who like her father is a “Bisaya” who grew up in Mindanao, is not cowed and is ready to fight it out with Trillanes even for three decades.
“Kala mo porket tahimik ako dahil takot ako, kagwang, umiiwas lang ako sa away. Pero may hangganan ang lahat (You might be thinking I’m afraid because I was quiet. I just avoided trouble. But everything has a limitation), now is your time to shine,” she said.
“Don’t ask us to prove you wrong, prove first na hindi ka nagsisinungaling (that you’re not lying). Fight!,” she added.
The mayor, in her Facebook rant on Thursday, criticized two other opposition senators, Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros who she said had sought their support to their presidential and senatorial bids but are now leading “Tindig Pilipinas,” a group that criticizes alleged extra-judicial killings under the Duterte administration.
She said Pangilinan met her father in a golf club in Davao asking him to support his plan to run for president.
“With Sharon’s endorsement and your (Rodrigo Duterte) endorsement I’m sure I can make it,” she quoted Pangilinan.
She further recalled that while she was away campaigning for her father Hontiveros often called her up to meet her and ask her to help secure votes from the city.
“I can remember your bored face listening to me in our law office just so you can get support for Davao,” she said of Hontiveros.
Mayor Duterte said she declined to meet Trillanes as she was disgusted by his “circus sa (at) Manila Peninsula,” referring to his foiled coup attempt in 2007.
On Nov. 29, 2007, Trillanes, Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and other military officers walked out of their trial for the 2005 Oakwood Mutiny, marched on the streets of Makati and occupied a portion of the Manila Peninsula Hotel.
The mutineers called for the ouster of then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. They surrendered after an armored personnel carrier barged into the hotel lobby.
Trillanes won as senator in the May 2007 elections while in detention. He was released after Benigno S. Aquino III became president. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)